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The Almighty Buck Entertainment

Paramount Claims Louis CK "Didn't Monetize" 288

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the louis-ck-living-in-poverty-by-industry-standards dept.
Weezul writes "Paramount's 'Worldwide VP of Content Protection and Outreach' Al Perry has insinuated that Louis CK making $1 million in 12 days means he isn't monetizing. Al Perry asserted that 'copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations, and that even if people like Louis C.K. decide not to do so, that's a choice and not a requirement.' Bonus, Slashdot favorite Jonathan Coulton apparently grossed almost half a million last year."
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Paramount Claims Louis CK "Didn't Monetize"

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  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:53AM (#39700665)
    He got a million in 12 days, how is is not gaining money ? Wait I get it, he sould have made 20 million 19.99 of them goes to them and he only get 10000$ ?? Ok sorry apparently I don't know much about buisness...
    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:57AM (#39700713)

      They didn't say he didn't make any money. They said he chose not to 'monetize.'

      You probably don't know what that word means.

      You monetize content when you license it to a big studio and they take all your money.

      • post to undo wrong moderation...
      • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by justforgetme (1814588) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:09PM (#39700823) Homepage

        Apparently Monetization [wikipedia.org] is creating an environment (or set of rules) for a thing that isn't money so that one can use said thing like money. Like the well known phrase "I'll pay you four van Goghs for that ratburger".
        Which is kind of odd really for the Entertainment industry to go that way since you usually monetize non precious things (common metals or rock, hemp etc.) to monetize representations of art like music files, video recordings or image files is openly admitting that those things do not have a value other than the perceived/mandated one and that production of said forms of legal tender is negligible (aka you can't steal an mp3 or gif because it has no value of its own).

        • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

          by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:26PM (#39701023)

          In this context "monetize" means transforming the content demand into something that can be resold -- viewer eyeballs are resold to advertisers, thus ad-supported media is "monetized." Youtube is "monetized," Louis CK's videos aren't "monetized" yet but if they continued to move like the first one did it's a possibility, as advertisers see the videos as a useful way to piggyback their messages.

          Going to see a movie at a theater used to be the gold standard "non-monetized" form of entertainment, until they started inserting product placements, music, placing ads before the shows, and reselling the movies characters as brands for toys, games...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AngryDeuce (2205124)

            Of all those things, the commercials they show before movies now is the most egregious thing in my opinion. I can't say for sure when I saw my first ad before a movie at the theater (but it can't have been before the mid-90's, because I don't remember it happening when I was growing up) but it's pretty much ubiquitous now.

            Still, I guess it doesn't really matter much to me because I go to the movies maybe 3 or 4 times a year, mainly because it's getting ridiculously expensive on top of all that "monetizing"

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              The TV-commercial-before-the-movie thing, as we know it, started in the late 90's. Before that, all you had were concessions and movie trailer ads. It's possible that they used to do it back before I was born (late 70's)... like when they did little news reels, but I wouldn't remember that. 80's and 90's were largely commercial-free at the theater.

              Of course product placement has been around far longer.

            • by iluvcapra (782887)

              "Shit" definitely beats "crap"... "honestly"... OTOH, movie theaters always had the candy stand, which is how they monetize their screenings, since they only keep a small percentage of the box office, particularly in the first two weeks.

              OTOOH, we'll see if Louis CK starts accepting ads, or if he continues using the PBS funding model, and I don't see how he'd sell a $1 million in videos without having had several cable specials for promotion first. What he's really done is he's "monetized" the publicity h

              • by AvitarX (172628)

                If you were early, there was a slide-show that was 50% local adds, and some random facts/trivia.

                Not as obnoxious as adds after the lights go dim, but there were adds as long as I can remember (late 80's I suppose).

                • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Informative)

                  by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:06PM (#39701409)

                  *I* remember the slides, I used to load them up when I was a projectionist at the UA in Roseville, MN :)

                  You're right, the exhibitors always did this, it's the production and distribution getting into the game that's sorta different. Also, it used to be that "monetization" was ancillary to the primary goal of selling tickets, but ancillary has become such a huge profit center that it's been re-termed "monetization" and it drives decision making throughout the old-line entertainment and Internet/new media industries.

            • by residieu (577863)
              And those commercials are so LOUD. Louder than the actual movies, usually.
          • I wonder where the fine line between Product Placement, and placing a product to add to realism.

            When the movies make fake brands during their show, it somehow feels like it is breaking the 4th wall, to say that we couldn't get permission to use this product.

            I mean we use brand name products all the time in real life.
            I am currenly using a Lenovo Think Pad Laptop, drinking water out of a cup with Duncan Donuts label on it. Typing on a Logitech external keyboard, and using an HP extra monitor. Next to me I ha

          • Right, essentially he's saying Louis CK was merely selling his work as a product instead of arranging all kinds of side-deals and whatnot. You might think that your record label is just interested in selling you music, or movie studios are just interested in selling movies. They're not. they're all wrapped up in all kinds of licensing deals, advertising, cross promotions, and product tie-ins.

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

        by notgm (1069012) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:14PM (#39700879)

        while this is a subtle sarcastic jab at the big studio, it's not far from correct, but it isn't entirely insightful, either.

        to monetize is to turn a profit. If Louis CK paid all of the salaries of all the workers (including himself), paid all appropriate fees and whatnot, and sent all of the surplus from the gross proceeds to charity, he didn't monetize. Al Perry is right in saying that he didn't monetize, because there was nobody to turn that profit over to.

        HOWEVER, his assertion that profit should drive art/entertainment is what we should take issue with. profits are for corporation or group-funded ventures, not individually founded enterprises. the whole corporation=person loophole has killed his perception.

        • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

          by Tharsman (1364603) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:30PM (#39701059)

          to monetize is to turn a profit. If Louis CK paid all of the salaries of all the workers (including himself), paid all appropriate fees and whatnot, and sent all of the surplus from the gross proceeds to charity, he didn't monetize. Al Perry is right in saying that he didn't monetize, because there was nobody to turn that profit over to.

          Actually, my understanding from wikipediaing is that monetizing is the process of converting some property in some sort of currency. If I dont monetize, lets say, my digitally recorded music, then it's not a crime to copy it because it has no value.

          If I do monetize it, then it is a crime to copy it because it's as bad as copying money.

          It does not seem to be a popular definition but I think this is indeed how studios see it. They use a word that intentionally sounds luring to creators (we will monetize your stuff!! Does that not sound like you will get money?!) While internally they are telling each other what they actually mean in keywords.

          The studios here are just trying to make creators think they would be missing in even more money than CK made if they don't monetize the way they did.

          I can see it now: Studio exec talks to creator:
          Hey Bob, what you rather do... profit of your music... or monetize your music? Seriously, what sounds like would make the most money to you?

        • by Hentes (2461350)

          Just because he chose to donate more than half of the profits doesn't mean it wasn't profit. Also, whether he pulls out the money as salary or profit is a theoretical question for tax optimisers, the amount remains the same.

      • by j3p0 (16007)

        Or as Eddie Murphy once observed:
        "Net points is monkey points, because they always make a monkey out of you"

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Monetize. As in "Now, now, Louis, be a good boy and bend over so we can continue monitizing you and your peers"

      P.S. the captcha is "spreader," now that's just gold.

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 19thNervousBreakdown (768619) <davec-slashdot AT lepertheory DOT net> on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:12PM (#39700861) Homepage

      Monetizing means squeezing the maximum amount of money possible out of something, and letting everyone and their brother get their fingers into it. Much like Al Perry's mom, heyoo!.

      *ahem* Anyway, it's unlikely Louis CK would have made a penny more (and pretty likely he'd have made a lot less less) if he'd have gone with Paramount. But we would have paid at least $20, so four times as much, and gotten a DRM'd-to-hell-and-back file, if we were even lucky enough to get one that can be played more than once. In return, Paramount promises to "promote" his shows, so he theoretically makes it up in volume. Paramount would make a bunch of money, the artist would have made less and pissed his audience off at the same time, everybody (who counts, i.e. the Paramount execs) is happy!

      When Louis becomes over-saturated because Paramount would rather have $10 today than $2 year-after-year and can't sell tickets anymore, well, sorry bud, guess you're just not funny. Nope, it has nothing to do with the fact that we forced you into a terrible TV show because of some shitty clause in your contract and let Comedy Central rerun your specials until everybody knew them word for word and spent all of your money on over-promoting your stand-up shows that you don't have time to write new material for because we're running you ragged "monetizing" your every breath. Not our fault, the numbers don't lie. Next!

    • by erroneus (253617)

      If ever there was an indication that the entertainment media publishers need to be committed to a mental institution, it's this.

      Louis CK (whoever that is) did something that did not involve the media publishers and made a very quick $million. (Oh I just googled him... I've seen him before... just never cared to remember his name... pretty funny... not quite George Carlin, but nobody can be George Carlin... not even George Carlin since he's dead now... I think he might be rethinking his 'respect for life' m

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by residieu (577863) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:56PM (#39701309)

        No, if they'd produced his show for him. They wouldn't have made any money either. If they made money they'd have to pay him, so they'd insist to both Louis CK and the IRS that the show did not make any money whatsoever.

        We should feel lucky that despite the fact that even the biggest blockbusters don't make money, all these media companies stay in the business and keep putting out movies and music for us. Less generous companies would look at all the money-losing movies and get into another line of business.

        • by erroneus (253617)

          That's an interesting point and I hope you get modded that way. The publishers don't want the IRS and the others out there to see that they can make serious money by keeping the publishers out of their business... and the IRS too.

          The IRS has attempted to investigate their dealings in the past. They just can't seem to get past the magical "anti-semite" force field.

    • by brit74 (831798)
      > "He got a million in 12 days, how is is not gaining money?"
      Just so you know, bringing in $1 million revenue does not automatically mean you're "making money". Making money means paying all your expenses and then having a profit. Louis C.K. says he, "$250,000 will go to pay off expenses related to the website. Another $250,000 is going to his staff and the people who helped work on the show.". Louis C.K. did make money from the show, but that's because of the other $500,000 ($280,000 of which he ga
      • by Elbart (1233584)
        The first 250k already paid the staff (quotes from https://buy.louisck.net/news [louisck.net] ):

        the first 250k is going to pay back what the special cost to produce and the website to build.

        The second 250k where extra bonus cash for his staff:

        The second 250k is going back to my staff and the people who work for me on the special and on my show. I'm giving them a big fat bonus.

        So he actually made 750k. That's a huge chunk of profit after investing 250k in my book.

  • by Roogna (9643) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:53AM (#39700671)

    What would Hollywood know about monetizing anything? After all from what they keep saying it's my impression that they loose hundreds of millions on every production just to have their hard work stolen by Evil Pirates(tm). So sounds like he made at least $1 million more than they ever do

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:00PM (#39700749)

      After all from what they keep saying it's my impression that they loose hundreds of millions on every production just to have their hard work stolen by Evil Pirates(tm).

      Congratulations! This is one of those rare fortuitous occasions where making the "loose/lose" errror still makes sense.

    • by oobayly (1056050) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:02PM (#39700773)

      Exactly, according to them they couldn't make a profit from revenues of almost 1 billion USD (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [slashfilm.com].

      I'm starting to believe that Hollywood really doesn't want to make money. After all, why else do they not want to put their films on the UK version of Netflix, when they're available on the US version? In the hope that we'll buy them on DVD instead? Good luck with that one.

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        Link is wrong, the document in the article shows a writer's defined proceeds from their payoff of their contractual deal, which is a formula based on a bunch of numbers, not a film's "profit". The words "revenue," "profit," and "cost" do not appear once.

    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:03PM (#39700777)

      Movies that Hollywood has claimed a loss for:
      - Forrest Gump (as a result, the author refused to sell the studio the rights to the sequel)
      - Spiderman (Stan Lee successfully sued over this one)
      - My Big Fat Greek Wedding (most of the cast then sued the studio for a share of the profits)
      - Babylon 5 ("Basically", says Straczynski, "by the terms of my contract, if a set on a WB movie burns down in Botswana, they can charge it against B5's profits.")
      - Lord of the Rings (resulted in Peter Jackson not directing The Hobbit, also - 15 actors suing the studio for not receiving their cut of the profits)
      - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (reported a $167 million loss... which is roughly equal to the film's budget.)

      • by teidou (651247)
        "resulted in Peter Jackson not directing The Hobbit" Hmm. Are you aware he IS directing it? See the Hobbit Blog [thehobbitblog.com] for proof, or at least an elaborate ruse. Or is the word 'resulted' evolving into some new meaning of which I was not previously aware?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          He wasn't for a very long time while he was suing them over LOTR profits.(100+ million if I recall correctly)

          They finally relented when Ian McKellen explained he was getting old and wouldn't be able to do it forever.

        • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:33PM (#39701087) Homepage

          Part of the reason the Hobbit isn't already out is that it took Jackson and the studio a couple of years to come to an agreement. A big part of the reason it took so long was that Jackson was unhappy that we wasn't getting paid because the LotR trilogy somehow didn't make any profit (according to the studio).

          They settled it somehow, but I don't know how.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:20PM (#39700947)

        Movies that Hollywood has taken a risk on, since 1986:

      • by geekmux (1040042) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:20PM (#39700955)

        Movies that Hollywood has claimed a loss for: - Forrest Gump (as a result, the author refused to sell the studio the rights to the sequel) - Spiderman (Stan Lee successfully sued over this one) - My Big Fat Greek Wedding (most of the cast then sued the studio for a share of the profits) - Babylon 5 ("Basically", says Straczynski, "by the terms of my contract, if a set on a WB movie burns down in Botswana, they can charge it against B5's profits.") - Lord of the Rings (resulted in Peter Jackson not directing The Hobbit, also - 15 actors suing the studio for not receiving their cut of the profits) - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (reported a $167 million loss... which is roughly equal to the film's budget.)

        Gee, I wonder how many Hollywood elite are homeless and bankrupt because of this?

        Oh wait, that's right I forgot. None of them.

        'Nuff said.

        • by suutar (1860506)
          The elite are not, true. They have agents who will push for pre-profit payment and enough name recognition to get it. The other 97% of the cast is SOL.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:27PM (#39701029)

        The truth is, not all of this is shady accounting. The problem is, people sign a deal where they get a cut of the theatrical profit, and even the most successful film (especially those that are very expensive to create) often fail to make a theatrical profit. Every cost associated with the creation of the film comes out of the theatrical profit. That includes cast and crew salaries, studio executives salaries, investor payoffs (very few films are financed entirely by a single studio), payouts to people who get a piece of the gross, advertising, film prints, everything. And remember, when they say such and such film made $100 million on a $50 budget, that movie is guaranteed to have lost money at that point. The $100 profit is the gross profit, and ignores that the studio has to split that with the theaters. The $50 budget is solely the production budget, and ignores advertising, film prints, executive pay, investor returns, and gross percentage payouts.

        Now, it's at this point that people usually say "that can't possibly be true, or no one would make movies". Well, while the theatrical release splits it's profits and takes the lions share of the costs, the DVD, television and streaming releases share very few profits and take very few costs. The DVD version costs a few hundred thousand to produce, the advertising budget might be decent but it's generally nothing compared to the theatrical advertising budget (and they can reuse a lot of assets), and there's generally no payout on the DVD to anyone on the creative side of actually making the movie. On top of that, the retailers selling the DVD generally only take 5-10%, much lower than the theaters take on the film. So while the studios themselves generally take a loss or barely break even on the theatrical release, if the movie is successful they can make heaping piles of money once it leaves theaters. On a huge release like a Harry Potter movie, you can pull in hundreds of millions on the DVDs, tens of millions or more on Pay Per View, then sell an exclusive window to HBO/Showtime/Starz to be the first pay channel for a few million, then get a few million more selling it to the ones that lost the exclusive, then a few million more selling it to Netflix, then a few million more to ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX for an exclusive window on broadcast. Then, once that's all done, you sell the international TV/Streaming rights to some other entity for a few hundred million more, and you don't share any of that with anyone.

        Now, you can definitely argue the "fairness" of this system, in terms of how much the studios make overall versus how much the creators make, but I have a minimal amount of sympathy for the endless writers, actors and directors who work in Hollywood and definitely should know how the studios make their profits, but then sign contracts that they know won't payoff, and still think they have a right to complain about it.

        • by PhrstBrn (751463) on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:05PM (#39701399)

          Basically, what you're saying is, even though the same ads, materials, and movie are used in both the theatrical and post-theatrical release of the movie, they roll all the production costs into the theatrical release, instead of spreading the production costs between theatrical and post-theatrical release. Remind me how this isn't shady accounting?

          It's like saying it cost me $1 million dollars to design a new car, I then sell $750k worth of cars to claim a $250k loss, and when the next year comes I add a pinstripe for $100 and claim it's a brand new car and that the investors aren't entitled to their cut of the profits because this car isn't the same car.

        • You say it's not shady accounting and then go on, at a not inconsiderable length, to describe all the shady accounting practices involved.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:32PM (#39701085)
        The Lord of the Rings is an interesting one because Peter Jackson opted for a share of gross revenue not profit which is the prevailing wisdom in Hollywood to actually get paid. Jackson's dispute with New Line was that they didn't pay him the amount he was owed despite this safeguard. New Line's response was to play the victim of Jackson's greed:

        "New Line already gave him enough money to rebuild Baghdad, but it's still not enough for him."

        It was true that they paid a lot; but Jackson's argument was they didn't pay him what his contract says they should pay him by selling rights internally within the studio for less than the real value.

        • "New Line already gave him enough money to rebuild Baghdad, but it's still not enough for him."

          And lines like that make me see red. To put it another way: "Look, the only reason why we're breaking our contract is because we're greedy fucks but please, let's call him a pig for simply asking for what's contractually owed."

      • IIRC, Star Wars has supposedly still not made a profit.
      • by ashridah (72567) on Monday April 16, 2012 @03:41PM (#39703139)

        Yep. Let's add to this another stunner:

        Darth Vader Not Getting Paid, Because Return Of The Jedi Still Isn't Profitable [techdirt.com]. Nevermind that, adjusting for inflation, Return of the jedi was the film with the 15th highest gross [boxofficemojo.com] to date.

        But hey, You know, if it's not making a profit, then you don't have to pay anyone their share.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:28PM (#39701043) Homepage

      Actually, it depends who they're talking to:
      To stockholders: "Yeah, we made millions"
      To anyone with a percentage of the profit: "Sorry, we lost $2 million on that one"
      To the IRS: "All our profits were in foreign countries, so we only have to pay taxes there"

      And so on.

  • Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:53AM (#39700675)

    Copyright does not give creators the "right to monetize their creations," it gives them a limited duration (hah) in which they can control duplication and redistribution of their work. Louis C.K. monetized his creation in the way he saw fit and it paid off handsomely. It might not have turned into many many millions of dollars, but it turned a healthy profit, sans DRM and other industry pushed bullshit.

    Fuck you, Al Perry. You're deliberately blind to his success because it points out that you're completely wrong.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

      --Upton Sinclair

    • Even better. It points out that he's completely useless.

    • Re:Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

      by j-pimp (177072) <zippy1981.gmail@com> on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:17PM (#39700911) Homepage Journal

      You're deliberately blind to his success because it points out that you're completely wrong.

      The problem is Louis removed may market inefficiencies created by the RIAA/MPAA, and those inefficiencies create jobs!</sarcasm>

    • Copyright does not give creators the "right to monetize their creations," it gives them a limited duration (hah) in which they can control duplication and redistribution of their work.

      Which in turn gives them the ability to monetize it.

  • by daitengu (172781) * on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:54AM (#39700687) Homepage Journal

    Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word "monetize" that I hadn't previously been aware of.

    • Yeah... either I'm not smart enough to follow this story, or Al Perry's comment is just plain nonsense. I doubt the former since I've had my Monday coffee, but I guess you never know.

      As far as I know, "monetize" simply means "to convert a thing into currency"*. We just do it so we don't have to barter everything; cash is far more liquid than a fistful of IOUs (which, in a sense, are the grandpappy of today's currency). Saying: "Hey buddy, I got a Pez Dispenser; I'll give you one for 5 cents." would b
    • by Rob Riggs (6418)

      Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word "monetize" that I hadn't previously been aware of.

      "Monetize"
      "To screw the consumer as hard as possible."
      "Monetize"

  • by sirwired (27582) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:55AM (#39700699)

    Would it have killed the submitter to include about three to five words informing us who the frack "Louis CK" is? Yes, it's just a Google away, but it would have been nice to mention it in the submission. (Or the editors could have added it.)

    • by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:06PM (#39700803) Homepage

      Would it have killed the submitter to include about three to five words informing us who the frack "Louis CK" is? Yes, it's just a Google away, but it would have been nice to mention it in the submission. (Or the editors could have added it.)

      He's a comedian who released his latest produced video directly to the consumer and DRM-free. He made it extremely easy and friendly to access and made a shitload of money in a very short amount of time.

      https://buy.louisck.net/ [louisck.net]

    • Apparently, Dane Cook is infamous for ripping off his jokes. This is a phenomenon I've only become aware of in the last few years. Carlos Mencia and Robin Williams also have bad reps for stealing jokes. It's so bad for those two that comedians would walk off stage if they heard/saw them in the audience.

    • by Jeng (926980) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:21PM (#39700967)

      Considering that googling still didn't pop up the relevant results, the information was not in the article, and this is not a tech issue in the least I agree that a little bit of background would have been nice.

      Just a little link to a story about his selling direct to customers would have sufficed.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Louis CK is the finest living comedian, hands down. He's right up there with George Carlin, Bill HIcks, and Richard Pryor.

  • Hold the phones! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You mean Louis C.K. has enough respect for his fans that he decided not to soak them for all they're worth? Stop the presses, this goes against everything my MBA taught me!
  • Not monetizing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by inode_buddha (576844) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:56AM (#39700709) Journal

    Not monetizing *for whom?*

    He made a mil in 12 days. For most of us that is a lot of monetizing. So for whom is it not monetizing, and why?

  • Comedy Specials (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:57AM (#39700715)

    Louie said on the Opie and Anthony show that he's never seen any of the money from the sales of his comedy specials.

    • Re:Comedy Specials (Score:5, Insightful)

      by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:03PM (#39700775)
      which is why he sold his latest special on his own website and made the money he deserves. fuck paramount
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:19PM (#39700941)

      Louie said on the Opie and Anthony show that he's never seen any of the money from the sales of his comedy specials.

      Exactly the point the Good People(tm) at Paramount(tm)(r) are trying to make. See, what he did right here was make money from the sales of a comedy show he's selling. That's different from monetizing(tm) it, which is wholesome and good. See, when you monetize(tm) something, you give all the cash to a worthy corporation that writes very big and very complicated stacks of papers to sign. A lot of people need to be paid well to write those papers, which I'm sure you'll agree are very very important. When you make money, on the other hand, you get to keep all that money, which is filthy and wrong, as it doesn't involve corporations being paid to write very big and very complicated stacks of papers.

      I'm glad Louis CK appears to understand how irresponsible and job-killing his greedy habit of making money is, and we at Paramount(tm)(r) are certain he will seek our forgiveness.

  • monetize (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:01PM (#39700765)

    "monetize" - You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
     

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:03PM (#39700781)

    Based on Al Perry's comments do we assume that "monetize" is defined by Paramount and the rest of the MPAA/RIAA as the use of extortion tactics to gain revenue from copyrighted materials, or maybe it's not monetizing unless the courts are involved?

    The fact that Louis CK was able to make one million dollars in 12 days yet not meet Al Perry's definition of "monetize" implies this.

  • The "Recipe"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by s.petry (762400) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:06PM (#39700807)

    Great article. I'll save the media production bashing to those already on the trail and go to what I thought was an interesting theory by Lewis CK. "The key to success is being polite, awesome, and human".

    I don't think the first one makes that much difference. Lewis Black makes me laugh so hard I cry, and he's not polite. He is awesome, and to me funny. Steven Write is polite and human, but not what I would call awesome. Monotone is something that many people just can't handle.

    Anyway, I think that being human is probably the biggest factor. Glad to see something positive coming out of all this!

  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:07PM (#39700815)

    It appears that one of the previous job held by Paramount's worldwide VP of content protection and outreach was working for Saddam's information ministry, where he provided Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf with material to use in all those insightful broadcasts. Do you know the "there are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!" quote? It must have been this guy who was behind it.

  • by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:12PM (#39700853) Homepage

    "The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website."

    Al is just pissed that a neophyte producer was successful without him.

    • by MojoRilla (591502)
      Hey....this is the entertainment industry we're talking about?

      Louis CK fucked with the system. He wasn't thinking of the middlemen. He stiffed the studio execs. He gave the lawyers and his agent the finger.

      Will you think of the poor entertainment industry for a second? Blow and hookers are expensive. Vacation house mortgages don't just pay themselves.
      • by s.petry (762400)

        You just made me wonder.. Did he fuck his career on any and all possible TV, Movie, and/or Radio gigs? Not that he had much anyway, but I wonder how that is used as leverage in cases like this? The movie execs are known to be mafia like in their mentality and treatment of those that try to buck the system. I'd be curious as to the amount of hate mail, death threats, etc.. he is getting from the Holleywood crowd..

        • by slodan (1134883)
          No, he negotiated the current gold-standard TV contract for creative artists. This is less money but full control of his great show "Louie" [wikipedia.org] which runs on FX.
        • by Progman3K (515744)

          I'll bet that from now on, the studios will conspire to ruin his career, by preventing him from appearing on all the late-night talk shows, stopping publicizing his older works they have rights on, etc...

          In 5 years he'll be a nobody again

        • Give that he's got a show running right now, and it's been renewed for another season since this dropped, maybe not so much.

  • by kaizendojo (956951) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:16PM (#39700899)
    Is that he wasted time concentrating on being intellignet and funny, instead of trying to squeeze as much money out of his fans as possible.


    And Hollywood wants to know why they're losing the war against piracy....
  • Wait didn't LCK (Score:5, Informative)

    by future assassin (639396) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:16PM (#39700909) Homepage

    turn his work into money while while also giving his viewers get a good laugh. Shit not that I think about it, I got a two for one deal for my $5 and LCK got a new fan.

    Thanks LCK!

    Also didn't he donate some of the profits and share quite a bit of it with his staff? Good god we should hang him for such charity and make him lose his copyrights.

    Rather than hoard the vast new profit from the digital download sales, CK said he plans to split it up among various people and organizations. The comedian explained that $250,000 would pay for the standup special and $250,000 would be disbursed as bonuses to people who work for him. Also, CK plans to donate $280,000 to five different charities, including the Fistula Foundation, Green Chimneys, Charity:Water, the Pablove Foundation and micro-loan non-profit Kiva. That leaves CK with $220,000 for himself.

    “Some of that ($220K) will pay my rent and will care for my children. The rest I will do terrible, horrible things with and none of that is any of your business. In any case, to me, 220k is enough out of a million,” CK said, adding that he’s always viewed money as a resource rather than something you keep for yourself.

  • We need a site/app where people like LCK can post info of up and coming self produced shows to get the word out. I bought his special but only by chance when I saw a post about him on Michael Geists websites. $5 was a hell of a deal and I'd be willing to buy buy buy at that price.

  • by mounthood (993037) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:23PM (#39700991)

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.

  • new line refused to pay Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings saying it did not turn a profit and you hear about record companies getting naive bands to sign bad contracts all the time. Are you really stealing from people who often stole what they are selling?
  • If you invent a word, then you get to invent the definition. I say Louis CK succeeded 100% in flrduburging his material.

    If he's making money and he's happy with the result, then Paramount can STFU.

  • This article made me go and buy Aziz Ansari's special: http://azizansari.com/ [azizansari.com]

    I had always meant to, but it reminded me that a $5 directly to the artist does WAY more than spending $20 on a dvd to a large company. I had bought Louie CK's thing the day it came out, but waited on Aziz's.

    So yes, Louie CK did not monetize because not everyone got their pound of flesh, but it's so easy to just sell a product cheaply when there are no concerns about who can watch it. And who knows, maybe those people go se
  • From the Oxford English Dictionary Online:

    monetize:
    Econ.
    1. trans.
    a. To establish (a metal) as standard currency in the coinage of a country; to put into circulation as currency. Now chiefly hist.
    b.To convert (an asset, debt, etc.) into money, to realize the value of (an asset, debt, etc.) as currency; spec. to convert (government debt) to a more liquid form, as by redeeming Treasury bills or replacing bonds with bills. Also: to assess in terms of monetary value.
    2. trans.
    To convert to the use of money; to convert (an economy) to a monetary system.

    Words mean things. It looks like Al Perry simply doesn't understand the word "monetize." Good thing too, because as distribution models continue to evolve, useless people like Perry and useless distribution dinosaurs like Paramount will be increasingly cut out of the profits that keep them alive.

    Since I'm looking forward to watching these parasitic organizations starve to the point of insolvency, I'm very happy to hear that an executive doesn't understand exactly

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